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The Posthuman

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  652 ratings  ·  54 reviews
The Posthuman offers both an introduction and major contribution to contemporary debates on the posthuman. Digital 'second life', genetically modified food, advanced prosthetics, robotics and reproductive technologies are familiar facets of our globally linked and technologically mediated societies. This has blurred the traditional distinction between the human and its oth ...more
Hardcover, 180 pages
Published June 17th 2013 by Polity Press (first published May 20th 2013)
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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Karl Bunker
Oct 27, 2013 rated it liked it
This book is not, in any straightforward sense, about "the posthuman" in the sense that futurists like Ray Kurzweil and many science fiction authors use the term. That is, it's not a discussion of the ways by which future technologies might enhance and modify human minds and bodies to the point that the definition of "human" is called into question.

Rather, it's a book of dense, highly specialized philosophy. The branch of philosophy it discusses is tangentially connected to the "posthuman" in th
Erkan Saka
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Part of the book is the best review of contemporary social theory I have seen recently. Some sections of the boook discusses the state of humanities and academia/universities. This is also revealing. Posthumanism discussion is a peculiar one that has nothing to do with futurologists etc. Since i come from a poststructuralist background like the author, i find her perspective even more helpful.
Oct 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: philosophy
When I picked this book up I thought it was a philosophy of science text about posthumanism, so keep that in mind when you read this review. I hate reading most postmodern philosophy, and was appalled to discover that this was a postmodern text. As I began to wade into it I found the introduction to be not so bad and found myself agreeing with it more than I thought I would. That was short lived.

This "philosophy" involves Braidotti citing her opinion on something and then citing somebody else
Jonathan Norton
Apr 05, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is an over-long Dean's Address in which all the different bits of news she's heard over the past year get a brief mention, but nothing is explained in any detail. The primary concern is institutional: to emphasise that "the Humanities" have a viable future in the western university structure of the 21st century. Since the later decades of the 20th century saw Humanities departments become dominated by theorists who rejected the traditional presumptions that led to the emergence of "the Huma ...more
Miroslaw Aleksander
Off the bat: the two stars stand for the official goodreads scale ('It was OK'). The book starts of very well. The first two chapters Are interesting, although not very innovative. We actually get only a handful of original ideas, relying mostly on postulates that have been around since the mid-20th century, some even earlier. The rejection of the outdated Enlightenment model is a compelling idea, as are the changes discussed in the second chapter.

The following two chapters are, unfortunately, l
Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The book is a map of the familial relationships between humanistic theories of recent past and the emerging posthuman turn in experience and critical thought. As such it describes the key active areas that the move away from the single-subject ideal of Man (traditional Humanism) has created or emphasized. If what it means to be human is no longer defined by the contents and systems of the rational consciousness of the well-off European dominant male, then the resulting cultural assemblies like p ...more
Jed Mayer
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
A wonderfully thorough exploration of the ethics and possibilities of the posthuman, though at times her terminology is not as clear as it could be, and her final chapter on the interdisciplinary impact of posthuman thinking is way off the mark; problems aside, this is a powerful work of critical theory.
Aug 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
We have never been human. Braidotti resolves to put the human back into the posthuman. She plays the mapmaker in this book, drawing from a collection of related authors and theorists and kin and placing them into four chapters of "life beyond..." (the self, the species, death and theory). There isn't much that cannot be found in her or others' works, but much of it bears repeating until it finally sinks in. ...more
Boria Sax
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Posthuman by Rosi Braidotti is an impressive display of intellectual virtuosity, but I suspect it may be an exercise in futility as well. The author subtly interrogates a vast range of works that purport to be post-humanist or zoocentric, from deep ecology to ecofeminism, concluding that they are ultimately tied to anthropocentric and humanistic paradigms. This critical analysis is in the service of what she believes to be a genuine posthumanism, which does not entail the commodification and ...more
Jul 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A theoretical exploration of philosophies for posthumanism, Braidotti's book makes a case for a specific kind: a monist (Spinozist), vitalist, postanthropocentric, (antihumanist) posthumanism. With a vocabulary informed by Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari, the author shows a short, subjective presentation of humanism and of other kinds of posthumanism(s): Nussbaum's reactive, human rights based view and the techno-scientific view. Research in posthumanist times is explored, in terms of: (1) becomi ...more
Sep 11, 2017 rated it liked it
This was my first introduction to the theory of the posthuman and it was a good place to start. Braidotti is very clear in her definitions - sometimes too clear, to the point of repeating the same thing many times over - but that certainly helped in my understanding of the subject.
I agree with most of her stances and personally find the posthuman fascinating, but where I disagreed I strongly disagreed. Her using of mental illness discourse in her rhetoric is extremely offensive and greatly hampe
Mar 03, 2022 rated it it was amazing
The Posthuman references an incredible pull of sources whilst simultaneously presenting new ideas on Life outside the anthroprocene.

It was challenging but I am left feeling inspired about expansive questions on Life, the future, reality, bodies, humans, emotions. Yet, I feel grounded on the basis that advanced capitalism, neo-liberalism, and individualism are a powerful, destructive force that poses a threat from our true becoming as an interconnected entity.
Jul 12, 2019 rated it liked it
I'm not sure how to react to this. Some parts are ok, other parts are a recapitulation of other contemporary theories. However, Braidotti's critique of the contemporary university dichotomy between Natural science and Humanities is spot on as she argues the need to have a unified research foundation for the posthuman predicament. ...more
Masatoshi Nishimura
Jun 06, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: psychology, half-read
Her writing was hard to follow. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone, who has not studied philosophy. ...more
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Best overview of Posthumanism that i've encountered. Clear, concise, and accessible. ...more
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: phd-reading-list
3/5 writing
5/5 ideas
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Tough read but most thought provoking
Clare Russell
Mar 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
Challenging, but fascinating, analysis of the subject, with an emphasis on universities, study and teaching humanities
Tinytim Timea
I have a love-hate relationship with posthumanism
William Zeng
Oct 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
oops i forgot to update this
George Fragos
Nov 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The German Ideology of the 21th century.
Aunfa Ugact
Excellent curation of topics to review "human", which is really the exciting part to not being submerge in our own conceptual attachment and "understanding". ...more
Jesse Roode
Jun 12, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Articulated and explained everything I couldn’t find the words for the feelings of our current extinction crisis.
Oct 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: feminism, deleuze
Excellent text, dealing with the phenomenon of the "posthuman". Braidotti's four chapters focus on: 1. A genealogy of the path towards posthumanism. Beginning with the classical understanding as "man as the measure of all" or the renaissance Vitruvian man. Towards crisis of "man" in anti-humanism, which sub verses this understanding of "man" as the measure of all things by introducing difference and the minoritarian. This ultimately culminated in the posthuman, which exist when that understandin ...more
Maoquai Chang
Sep 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is an introduction to the many strands of theories of the posthuman. At the heart of the book is a call to a posthuman ethics, what she calls a “vitalist egalitarianism of zoe,” which grows out of ontological relationality and which recognizes the inter-connectedness between all living things (and spaces) without (re)centering on the self. For Braidotti, a posthuman ethics is dependent upon letting go of the (self-)centering of human (she frequently refers back to the Vetruvian Man), t ...more
Aug 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
Braidotti is a very interesting thinker, and I will have to reread 《The Posthuman》after some further reading, but over all Braidotti's book is poorly argued, in places dogmatic and uncritical, full of Scientism and a certain contempt of science, empirucism, rationalism and a rigourous methodology which may have saved her very interesring and important ideas from being inconsistent and contradictory. For example, if she is right and tge humanities needs to accept the present as present and free i ...more
Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
A critic of Humanism and monist, Braidotti offers a very interesting discussion on the 'posthuman', including its integration into 'affirmative politics'.

In her perspective on Humanism:

"The emphasis falls instead on issues of diversity and differences among them and on the internal fractures of each category. In this respect, anti-humanism rejects the dialectical scheme of thought, where difference or otherness played a constitutive role, marking off the sexualized other (woman), the racialized
If I could choose 3.5 stars, I would.
In this text, Rosi Braidotti discusses the current state of posthumanism. While, based on the title, the book might be taken as an introductory text, instead it moves on from quite a few posthuman texts from the past decade or two (like the work done by Donna Haraway) and takes their work further to describe her own view of the posthuman. The book is very much concerned with a lack of distinction between life and death, trying to move those seemingly opposite
Shruti Buddhavarapu
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
As mediocre-ly written summations of theoretical ontologies go, this was okay.

Can't help but be disappointed though. Braidotti sets up so much tingling possibility in her Introduction, but I felt like I was reading 'Beginning Theory' by Peter Barry (so it is extremely useful for a scanning). I found nothing of heft though.
It's quite fantastic. Very Deleuzian, very wild. Here and there a bit "milquetoast" (thanks to Tony for that word), but overall quite wonderful. ...more
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“Making friends with the impersonal necessity of death is an ethical way of installing oneself in life as a transient, slightly wounded visitor.” 12 likes
“The crisis of Humanism means that the structural others of the modern humanistic subject re-emerge with a vengeance in postmodernity (Braidotti, 2002). It is a historical fact that the great emancipatory movements of postmodernity are driven and fuelled by the resurgent ‘others’: the women’s rights movement; the anti-racism and de-colonization movements; the anti-nuclear and pro-environment movements are the voices of the structural Others of modernity. They inevitably mark the crisis of the former humanist ‘centre’ or dominant subject-position and are not merely anti-humanist, but move beyond it to an altogether novel, posthuman project.” 3 likes
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